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Funding and loans for US students

It’s important that you are able to fund your studies and we’re here to support you. Learn the processes for applying for loans and whether they are suitable for you.

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Direct and private loans

NTU is registered with the US Department of Education as an international university. This means that students can apply for federal student aid in order to study both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Get advice and guidance on subsidised, unsubsidised loans and private loans, as well as repayment conditions and how to apply.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized loans are based on financial need. The amount you may be eligible for will depend on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  If you're eligible, the US government will pay (subsidize) the interest on your loan whilst you’re in university, and for the first six months after you leave (grace period).

Repayments usually start six months (known as the 'grace period') after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need. Subject to eligibility, the University will determine the amount you can borrow based on either the loan annual limit cap or your Cost of Attendance (whichever is lower).  You will be responsible for the interest on an unsubsidized loan from the time the loan is disbursed, until it is repaid in full.

Repayments typically start six months after your course finishes or you become less than half-time.

Direct Grad PLUS Loans

Direct Grad PLUS loans are fixed interest loans for students undertaking postgraduate courses (subject to credit requirements). You must apply for the maximum direct unsubsidised loan before taking out a Graduate Plus loan, however both applications can be made at the same time.

The university can certify up to the full Cost of Attendance – minus any other financial aid.  There is no grace period i.e. the loan enters repayment as soon as the funds are disbursed.

Repayments can be deferred until after graduation while you are enrolled at least half time.

Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Direct Parent PLUS loans are for eligible parents to pay for the cost of education for a dependent undergraduate student who are enrolled at least half-time.

The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan.  A credit check is required.  Parent borrowers with adverse credit history may still be able to borrow a Direct Parent PLUS Loan, with the use of an Endorser.  The university can certify up to the full Cost of Attendance minus any other financial aid received for the student.

Private Loans

Nottingham Trent University is willing to work with any authorised Private Loan provider who will fund a student studying to for a degree at a Foreign School. However, at the present time we are only aware of one private lender that makes private loans available to US citizens receiving their degree at a Foreign School.

This is through the Sallie Mae Loan Provider.

Please note that the terms and conditions of Direct Loans may be more favourable than private loans and we encourage you to explore eligibility.

Private Loans are assessed using the same Cost of Attendance criteria as the Federal Direct Loan program (although no origination fee is included where this is not charged).

This will include deductions for any Estimated Financial Assistance received through Scholarships, Bursaries or the Federal Direct Loan program. Ordinarily all Private Loans payments will be split across 3 disbursement dates.

Applying for US federal student aid (Direct Loans)

The course you are planning to attend must lead to one of the qualifications below:

  • Foundation degree
  • Bachelor degree
  • Masters degree
  • Doctorate degree

We are unable to certify Federal Student Aid for the following:

  • Further Education courses
  • The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
  • PGCE courses
  • Diploma or Certificate achieving courses
  • Nursing or Paramedic courses
  • Distance learning/correspondence programmes
  • Programmes that require a compulsory period of study abroad or placement

Our Confetti and Mansfield sites are not eligible to certify Federal Direct Loans.

Additionally, as a foreign school we are unable to certify loans for any course in which a portion of the course involves spending time in the United States of America (this includes study, placement work or trips).

If you are studying on a course which is not eligible for Federal Student Aid, you may be eligible for private loans.

Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete your FAFSA application.

Ensure you list Nottingham Trent University (school code G30925) as a chosen school.

Applications for FAFSA will ordinarily open in October, the year before your course is due to start.

Step 2: We work out your cost of attendance (CoA)

We will begin processing FAFSA applications from Mayonwards, prior to the Academic Year you are due to start.

We will check your eligibility and determine the loan amounts you may be eligible for. Your CoA is based on the actual costs of your studies. These calculations are based on fixed-costs. We do not calculate a CoA based on individual expenses.

Cost of Attendance for 2021/22 will be calculated as follows:

  • Tuition Fees – information on your tuition fees can be found in your offer letter or on our Tuition Fees webpage
  • Living Costs – For undergraduate students this is based on 9 x months = £11,037 and for Postgraduate students, this is based on 12 x months = £14,716
  • Flight Costs – 2 x return flights from USA to UK = £2,000
  • IT equipment = £1,000
  • Books and course materials =£600
  • Loan origination fees
  • Visa and NHS surcharge fees
  • Childcare costs (during University contact hours) for students with child dependants
  • Costs relating to a disability or ongoing long term medical/health condition

Step 3: Apply for loan

Applications should be made via Federal Student Aid.

Step 4: Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement

Once you have received your CoA and decided that you would like to accept Financial Aid, you will need to complete a MPN online, confirming that you agree to the terms of your loan.

If you are intending to apply for the Grad Plus loan (or your parents will apply for a Parent Plus loan) you (or your parents) will also need to complete a separate MPN and credit check on the same website.

The MPN is the legally binding document.  It outlines the terms and conditions of your loan. Ensure that you read it carefully and make understand your rights and responsibilities.

From 2021-22, all borrowers will also be required to complete an Annual Student Loan Acknowledge prior to receiving Financial Aid. This will be completed online through the Student Aid webpages.

Step 5: Entrance counselling

You will be asked to complete your online entrance counselling.

This step is to be completed before we can release your Financial Aid Award letter.

Step 6: Processing your loan

Your loan will be processed subject to all of the following:

  • Your Cost of Attendance, which includes Tuition Fees and Living Cost allowances
  • Deductions for the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), as shown on your Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Deductions for any other Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA) you will be received (e.g. an International Scholarship, Sport Scholarship or external bursary)
  • The annual and aggregate loan limits set by the United States government.

Your loan cannot be originated (certified) until you have:

  • An unconditional offer to study at Nottingham Trent University, and accepted it.
  • Completed a MPN for each loan (listing Nottingham Trent)
  • Completed Entrance Counselling
  • Confirmation of a valid credit check (for Grad Plus or Parent Plus loans)

Following confirmation that you wish to accept the loan, we will process your loan with the US Department of Education, and provide you with a letter confirming the details of your loan and payment dates.

Please note that it can take the University 10 working days to process the loan.

Step 7: Visa letter

We will provide you with an electronic letter confirming the details of your loan and payment dates, which you can use when making your Tier 4 visa application.

Information on applying for a student visa can be found on our Visa Information webpages.

Payment of your direct loan

All loan payments will be split across 3 dates based on academic terms. The instalment dates will be listed on your Federal Aid Award letter.

Prior to each loan payment, you will be contacted via your NTU email address to advise of your instalment and cancellation rights.

Where a Parent PLUS Direct loan has been taken, the parent borrower will be contacted via email. Any borrower can cancel or reduce an instalment within 14 days of the email being sent.

Each term your loan instalment will be paid into the University’s Western Union account, the process will then be as follows:

  • If the loan is not sufficient to cover tuition fees and any University accommodation costs due, we will require you to provide credit or debit card details to cover the balance due. The University will contact you by email to confirm the loan received, and to advise if any further payment details are required.
  • If the loan instalment is in excess of the amount required to cover tuition fees, the balance will be credited to any University accommodation costs (where applicable). Should there still be excess funds then the balance will be credits to your bank account via Western Union.

For each payment of funds, there is a processing fee, which is subtracted from the gross amount of loan borrowed.

Western Union

Nottingham Trent University manages payment processes through the Western Union Business Solutions. As such, at the start of the Academic Year and prior to each instalment, each student will be given the opportunity to provide UK bank details for the payment of surplus funds.

All international students planning to study in the United Kingdom should open a UK bank account for the duration of their studies.

However, if you did not wish to open a UK bank account or where you have not been able to open an account prior to an instalment disbursement, any surplus funds from Western Union will be usually made available in the form of a cheque at your campus cash office.

From the advised payment date, you will need to allow up to 14 days for the release of surplus funds to be completed.

Exit Counselling

You are required to complete Exit Counselling either when you are a final year student approaching the end of your studies at Nottingham Trent University, or where you are no longer eligible or choose to receive no further loan payments.

We will normally contact you in May of your final year of study to ensure that you complete exit counselling.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Prior to the payment of instalments of your direct loan, the University is required by the US Department of Education to check that you are progressing in your studies.

The Student Financial Support Service will liaise directly with your academic school to obtain this information, and if there is a problem that might affect your ability to receive the loan funding, we will contact you.

Download a copy of NTU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Managing your Money

We recommend that you only borrow funding that you feel is required for your course, based on your own anticipated cost of living.

The Federal Student Aid website has resources on money management, which you may find useful.

Please be aware that you will not be able to receive any of your loan funding until you have arrived in the United Kingdom and completed your enrolment process.

There will be some expenses that you may encounter before receiving any student loan funding – this may include (although may not be limited to):

  • Student visa and NHS surcharge costs
  • Deposits (or early instalments) for student accommodation
  • Basic funds for living costs on arrival.

Some of these costs will be reimbursed through student loan funding, but the University will not ordinarily be able to aid in these upfront costs.

We can offer to defer the £3,000.00 Advance Payment International students are required to pay.

This will only be when a student is entitled to sufficient loan to cover their full Tuition Fees.

More guidance regarding money management as an International Student can be found at Managing Your Money.

Consumer information and terms

See the US Federal Student Aid section and the US government’s US Federal Student Aid website for information on Title IV US Financial Aid, including information on:

  • terms and conditions of Title IV, HEA loans
  • criteria for selecting recipients and for determining award amount
  • eligibility requirements and procedures for applying aid
  • methods of frequency of disbursements of aid
  • rights and responsibilities of students receiving Title IV assistance
  • SAP requirements
  • loan terms including a sample repayment schedule and necessity for repaying the loan
  • enrolment on study abroad programmes and the impact on applying for financial aid
  • exit Counselling information the University collects and provides to servicers
  • student loan information published by the US Department of Education.

Price of Attendance

  • Information on Scholarships and tuition fees can be found on our International webpages
  • Information on accommodation options can be found on our Accommodation webpages
  • Cost of living information can be found on our Managing your money webpages
  • Reading lists can be obtained directly from your School, as each course team set their own reading list and provide guidance on any required textbooks or materials. For further information we would recommend contacting your Academic School directly, or the NTU Switchboard on +44 (0)115 941 8418.
  • Information on local transport can be found on our Travel webpage

Requirements for Withdrawal

Information on the University’s withdrawal process can be found in the Student Handbook.

The US Department of Education requires that a student's leave of absence, together with any additional leaves of absence, must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12 month period.  If a student is granted leave of absence by the University that does not meet this condition and exceeds 180 days in any 12 month period, the University is required to report the student as withdrawn to the US Department of Education for Title IV purposes.

Return of Title IV Financial Aid

If you withdraw from your course (or become ineligible for funding) prior to the end of your loan period, the University is required to make a Return of Title IV Financial Aid calculation (R2T4) to determine the amount of loan has been ‘earned’; and the amount of loan that has been ‘unearned’.

All unearned income attributed to institutional charges must be returned to the US Department of Education by the University.

You can download the University’s Return of Title IV Refunds policy  for further information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Prior to the payment of instalments of your direct loan, the University is required by the US Department of Education to check that you are progressing in your studies.

The Student Financial Support Service will liaise directly with your academic school to obtain this information, and if there is a problem that might affect your ability to receive the loan funding, we will contact you.

Download a copy of NTU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

Loan Disclosures

National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

We are required to confirm your attendance online through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).  The attendance confirmation is reported every 60 days.

Entrance and Exit Counselling

You are required to complete appropriate loan counselling for the loans you take out. This should be completed through the US Federal Student Aid website

Entrance counselling will advise you about the different types of loans available and the repayment responsibilities of participating in the loans programmes. We are unable to disburse the first instalment of your loan until we have received confirmation that you have completed entrance counselling.

Exit counselling gives you information about how to manage your student loans after your course, including information on repayment, deferment and the consequences of defaulting. You are required to complete Exit Counselling either when you are a final year student approaching the end of your studies at Nottingham Trent University, or where you are no longer eligible or choose to receive no further loan payments.

Private Education Loans and Disclosures

Nottingham Trent University is willing to work with any authorised Private Loan provider who will fund a student studying to for a degree at a Foreign School. However, at the present time we are only aware of one private lender that makes private loans available to US citizens receiving their degree at a Foreign School.

This is through the Sallie Mae Loan Provider.

Please note that the terms and conditions of Direct Loans may be more favourable than private loans and we encourage you to explore eligibility.

Private Loans are assessed using the same Cost of Attendance criteria as the Federal Direct Loan program (although no origination fee is included where this is not charged).

This will include deductions for any Estimated Financial Assistance received through Scholarships, Bursaries or the Federal Direct Loan program. Ordinarily all Private Loans payments will be split across 3 disbursement dates.

Academic Programmes

Information on current courses can be found in our Study and Courses section.

We are unable to certify Federal Student Aid for the following:

  • Further Education courses
  • The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
  • PGCE courses
  • Diploma or Certificate achieving courses
  • Nursing or Paramedic courses
  • Distance learning/correspondence programmes
  • Programmes that require a compulsory period of study abroad or placement

Our Confetti and Mansfield sites are not eligible to certify Federal Direct Loans.

Additionally, as a foreign school we are unable to certify loans for any course in which a portion of the course involves spending time in the United States of America (this includes study, placement work or trips).

If you are studying on a course which is not eligible for Federal Student Aid, you may be eligible for private loans.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

You can find further details regarding your rights under the Family Educational Rights and privacy Act (FERPA) from the US Department of Education:

Please be aware that as part of a signed Master Promissory Note, required to receive Federal funding, privacy rights are waived by the signatory (either a prospective/current student, or the parent of a student) for all agencies involved in US Federal Student Aid (Direct Loan) processing.

As such, information relating specifically to your Title IV Loan will be shared with the US Department of Education, Western Union and the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Your data may also be viewed by an external contracted auditor to ensure administrative compliance with Department of Education criteria.

Where a loan agreement is made between the University and a prospective student, current student or parent of a student, loan information submitted to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) will be accessible by guaranty agencies, lenders and schools to be authorised users of the data system.

Code of Conduct for Education Loans

This code of conduct prohibits a conflict of interest of NTU staff with responsibility for Financial Aid administration.  The code prohibits:

  • Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender
  • Receiving gifts from a lender, a guarantor, or a loan services
  • Contracting arrangement providing financial benefit from any lender or affiliate of a lender
  • Directing borrowers to particular lenders, or refusing or delaying loan certifications
  • Offers of funds for private loans
  • Call center or financial aid office staffing assistance
  • Advisory board compensation

Disability Support

If you are a student with a physical or mental disability, specified learning difficulty or ongoing health difficulty, you may be eligible to access additional support whilst studying at Nottingham Trent University. Further details can be found on our Disability Services and Wellbeing Services webpages.

Funding for veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers education and training benefits to Veterans or eligible family members of Veterans, through the GI Bill benefit program.

How to Apply

If you are eligible for VA education benefit, you will also need to contact us either by email or calling +44 (0)115 848 2494 to request that your chosen course is approved with VA

The following courses at NTU have already been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • BSc (Hons) Animal Biology
  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
  • BA (H) Business
  • BA (Hons) Childhood Studies
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • BA (Hons) Creative Writing
  • BA (Hons) Criminology
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • MSc Engineering (Cybernetics and Communications)
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art
  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design
  • LLB (Hons) Law
  • BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education
  • MSc Psychology

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418